United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
J. Garbis United States District Judge
Court has before it Defendant FedEx Freight, Inc.'s
Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint
[ECF No. 21] and the materials submitted relating thereto.
The Court finds that a hearing is unnecessary.
Freight, Inc. is the remaining Defendant in this case as the
Court previously granted Defendant Terrika Martin's
Motion to Dismiss. See Order Re: Motions at 2, ECF
No. 19. Plaintiff's Amended Complaint [ECF No. 21]
charges Defendant with retaliation and discrimination based
on (1) gender identity, (2) sex, and (3) sexual orientation,
in violation of the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act.
Squire (“Squire”) worked as a truck driver for
FedEx Freight, Inc. (“FedEx”) from January 2014
to March 2017. Am. Compl. ¶ 3, ECF No. 20. Squire was
born female but has identified as male his entire adult
life. Id. ¶¶ 4-5. Squire
currently identifies as male and is married to a female.
Id. ¶ 4.
January 2014, FedEx hired Squire as a truck driver, and he
worked for over two years without complaint. Id.
¶ 6. In August 2016, Squire submitted a request for time
off from work to his Human Resources representative, Terrika
Martin (“Martin”), in order to have a
hysterectomy, the final stage of gender reassignment surgery.
Id. ¶ 7.
returning to work in October 2016, Squire faced discipline
and criticism by FedEx, even though his performance remained
the same as before his surgery. Id. ¶ 9. Squire
believed this treatment was due to his gender, gender
identity, and/or sexual orientation. Id. Squire was
afraid that Martin had informed FedEx of his operation and
gender change. Id. ¶ 11. Martin was aware of
Squire's gender change, as she had advised Squire not to
report his hysterectomy to the Department of Transportation.
Id. ¶ 8. When Squire expressed concern to
Martin that he was being discriminated by FedEx, Martin
stated that based on the factual circumstances of each
incident, Squire should not have faced discipline.
Id. ¶ 11.
March 20, 2017, at the end of a work shift, FedEx informed
Squire that he would have to work an additional shift that
day. Id. ¶ 12. FedEx's policy is to assign
overtime based on how long an employee has been at FedEx, and
those on a shift that have been employed for the least amount
of time are typically assigned any extra work. Id.
¶ 13. Squire advised FedEx that there were other
employees with a shorter tenure who should be assigned the
extra work. Id. ¶ 14. Additionally, Squire
advised FedEx that he was unable to work due to a preexisting
doctor's appointment. Id. ¶ 12. FedEx
advised Squire that it is against policy to refuse extra
work, however, no such policy was included in FedEx's
online manual, which is several hundred pages long.
Id. ¶¶ 15-16.
refusing to work the “extra work” shift, FedEx
suspended, and later terminated Squire's employment.
Id. ¶¶ 15, 17. FedEx claims Squire's
termination was a result of his refusal to work. Id.
¶ 17. Squire alleges his termination was the result of
discrimination by FedEx. Id.
March 20, 2017, Squire completed an EEOC Intake Questionnaire
[ECF No. 24-1]. However, in his questionnaire Squire did not
mark any box under the section entitled, “What is the
reason (basis) for your claim of employment
discrimination?”Id. at 2. On the final page of the
questionnaire, a complainant may mark either of two boxes.
One requests an EEOC employee speak with the complainant and
the other requests the EEOC to file a charge. Squire did not
mark either box. Id. at 4.
11, 2017, Squire filed an EEOC Charge of Discrimination [ECF
No. 22-1]. In his charge, Squire only marks the box for
“SEX, ” under the section entitled
“DISCRIMINATION BASED ON.” Id. Squire
specifies that he believes he was discriminated against based
on his “sex (Gender Identity/Transgender).”
August 10, 2017, the EEOC issued a Dismissal and Notice of
Rights [ECF No. 18-3] to Squire.
presents claims for retaliation and employment discrimination
based on (1) gender, (2) gender identity, and/or (3) sexual
orientation, under the Maryland Fair Employment Practices Act
(“MFEPA”). Md. Code Ann., State Gov't §
20-601 et seq. (West 2015). FedEx seeks partial dismissal of
Squire's retaliation claim and discrimination claim based
on sexual orientation, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and Rule
12(b)(6). In this motion, FedEx does not seek dismissal of
the gender or gender identity discrimination claims.
motion to dismiss filed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6) tests the legal sufficiency of a
complaint. A complaint need only contain "'a short
and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is
entitled to relief, ' in order to 'give the defendant
fair notice of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon
which it rests.'" Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (alteration in
original) (citations omitted). When evaluating a 12(b)(6)
motion to dismiss, a plaintiff's well-pleaded allegations
are accepted as true and the complaint is viewed in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. However, conclusory
statements or "a formulaic recitation of the elements of
a cause of action will not [suffice]." Id. A
complaint must allege sufficient facts "to cross
'the line between possibility and plausibility of
entitlement to relief.'" Francis v.
Giacomelli, 588 F.3d 186, 193 (4th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Twombly, 550 U.S. at 557).
into whether a complaint states a plausible claim is
"'a context-specific task that requires the
reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common
sense.'" Id. (quoting Twombly, 550
U.S. at 557). Thus, if "the well-pleaded facts
[contained within a complaint] do not permit the court to
infer more than the mere possibility of misconduct, the
complaint has alleged - but it has not 'show[n]' -
'that the pleader is ...